(Pocket-lint) - Gaming keyboards are marvellous bits of kit - especially if they're fully mechanical, they make a telling difference compared to a normal typing keyboard, and can be great not just for quicker movement in games but also for work more widely.
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That said, one thing that crops up a lot when people get a mechanical keyboard is their surprise at how loud they can be. The clackiness of a wireless keyboard depends on a few factors, though - so here's a quick guide to how you can get your gaming keyboard to be a little quieter.
Put it on a mat
Mousemats are nice, but even more useful for gamers are full-size desk mats, which take the same logic and expand onto a way larger area. These are great to ensure you never run out of mousepad room, make cleaning really simple and have a bonus for your keyboard.
Since most desk surfaces are hard, the change to a mat will add a dampener under your keyboard that could make a difference to how clicky and loud it sounds while you're using it. It's unlikely to be a huge game-changer but this could be the difference if you want a marginal gain.
Mechanical keyboard switches are quite simple to modify - all you need to do is pull the keycap off and you can literally see the mechanical switch before your eyes.
One easy way to dampen the noise of a switch is to slip on an o-ring around it, a small bit of flexible plastic that will absorb some of the shock created by you pushing down on the key, to dampen the resulting click.
These are nice and affordable, and installation is genuinely straightforward, so give it a try. The one thing to make sure you check is that you're buying o-rings that will fit on the existing switches in your keyboard. You might also find you don't like the new click action, but it's an affordable thing to check.
Get new switches
If you think the core issue is that you have loud switches in your keyboard, then getting a new set of switches and swapping them out is a little more involved, but can be a great project.
The quietest type of mechanical switches are linear, but the good news is that most of the switch-makers out there will let you know how clicky a given switch is on their websites, and some will make specific versions for those who want near-silent switches.
For example, Cherry MX Silent switches are a great bet, with loads of users around the world. Gateron Silent or Kailh Silent are also reliable, so check any of those out if you like.
Consider a new keyboard
That said, if you're thinking of replacing your entire set of key switches, you might also want to look into just picking up a new gaming keyboard entirely, this time making sure that silent key action is something you look out for in its reviews and testimonials.
This can be a really good way to freshen up your gaming setup, and it can frankly be nice to two keyboards to swap between as you try out different types of games, or work. Also, if you're not too confident about changing your switches manually, this is a way to outsource that problem.
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